The Goodrich Rural Fire Department recently received potentially life-saving grain bin rescue equipment and training through a donation from Farm Credit Services of Mandan.
Farm Credit Services donated a 10-panel system manufactured by Minnesota-based Outstate Data. The equipment is designed by rescuers specifically for grain bin entrapments. “We have had 16 successful saves with this equipment,” said Dale Ekdahl, owner and trainer forOutstate Data.
Nearly 30 volunteer firefighters from Goodrich, Hurdsfield, and McClusky attended Ekdahls training session in Goodrich using hopper bottom grain semi-trailers filled with wheat. “This was a very good hands-on training. Dale had us practice and discuss different entrapment situations as no two rescues are the same,” said Mike Richter, Goodrich Fire Chief. “We are so appreciative of Farm Credit’s support,” he added.
Even as the overall rate of serious injuries and fatalities on farm has fallen, the number of grain bin entrapments remains steady, in part because the country’s high grain production and volatile markets has led to more bins that require more workers and movement of grain.
Goodrich and Carson are the two rural volunteer fire departments to receive grain bin rescue equipment and training this year as part of Farm Credit Services of Mandan’s support for rural communities.
“Supporting the rural fire departments that protect our farmers and ranchers is one way we can make a difference in the rural communities we serve,” said Kenny Bahm, loan officer for Farm Credit Services Mandan Branch. “The key is the rural volunteers who protect their lives and facilities in an emergency,” he added.